So you have an absolutely fabulous black and white dress, and you can’t wait to wear it to an upcoming party. You may be wondering about the right way to accessorize the dress, and whether you should stay monochromatic or go bold. Unfortunately, there is no one simple answer to guide you. On the bright side, that means you can freely use your creativity to personalize your outfit without worrying about breaking any hard and fast rules of fashion. Here are a few suggestions.
Decide on one bright color to use to accessorize your dress. Many people choose to combine red with black and white, but you can also go with yellow, teal, emerald green, hot pink or any other color you like.
Choose shoes, a handbag and jewelry that all involve the accessory color you've chosen. They do not have to match or be the exact same shade, but they should be related enough that they all go well together. Keep in mind that they do not have to be solid colors — you could choose a black handbag with hot pink trim, or a silver necklace with a turquoise pendant.
Apply somewhat toned-down makeup. If you feel the need to bring the bright color from your accessories into your face, do it very subtly. Bright yellow accessories can be fashionable, but bright yellow accessories with matching eye shadow might cross the line.
Keep your accessories black, white or grey for a striking monochromatic look.
Play with patterns since you aren’t playing with colors. For example, if your dress has black and white stripes, consider carrying a white purse with black polka dots, or wearing black shoes with a white floral print.
Apply colorful and dramatic makeup. This will help bring the look to life as well as continuing the dramatic theme of a monochromatic outfit.
Choose a metal tone, such as silver, gold or copper, and wear accessories either made of that metal, or in a matching color.
Consider adding a belt in the color of the metal you chose to pull the whole look together.
Extend this look into your makeup by wearing eye shadow in the metallic color you chose, and using a lipstick that contains a hint of the same color.
Morgan O'Connor has been writing professionally since 2005. Her experience includes articles on various aspects of the health-insurance industry for health-care newsletters distributed to hospitals as well as articles on both international and domestic travel.